Both OCLC and the Research Libraries Group (RLG) are doing something that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. They're making information from their union catalogs available via the web to the general public.
The two vendors have taken decidedly different approaches. OCLC offers it's Worldcat records via Yahoo and Google, while RedLightGreen offers a full-featured, search-able, union catalog. According to a recent article by David Mattison, "RedLightGreen and Open Worldcat",
"RedLightGreen gets right down to it, just like Google, with an in-your-face keyword search field. Once I viewed the search results and individual bibliographic records display, the site gave me the impression of working with a really cool library OPAC (online public access catalog), one that even found Google search results within some bibliographic records."
Doesn't it make you wish that they'd offer a custom version of this product to act as an OPAC for a specific library or group of libraries? At least, that's what I found myself wishing! No more downloading of records from RLIN into a separate product, just catalog your records in RLIN, then have them automatically include them in your very own RedLightGreen!
I can dream, can't I?